Friday, February 28, 2014

Or you can just watch Wall Street, which starred Charlie Sheen, in his best role.

The Baffler vs. The New York Times

The Baffler vs. The New York Times And this after The Times referred to The Baffler as "A compendium of literary curveballs."

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Welcome to Miami! Except...

Killer and attention houndGeorge Zimmerman confronted by cross beachgoers.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Kunstler: Savagery for All

Savagery for All

A glance through the annals of history tells us that the Golden Age of Ukraine occurred just as western Europe was emerging from its long, dark, post-Roman coma around the 10th and 11th centuries, A.D. After that, it was a kind of polo field for sundry sweeping hordes of mounted hell-bringers: Tatars, Turks, Cossacks, Bulgars, Napoleon’s grand army. In modern times, its population was divided between allegiance to Russia or to the Germanic states of the west. The Russian soviet regime treated it very badly. As many Ukrainians starved to death under Stalin’s “terror famine” of 1932-1933 as Jews and others were killed later in Hitler’s death camps. Stalin went on to try and totally erase Ukraine’s ethnic identity.

The Nazis wanted to go even further: to erase the Slavic population altogether so that the great fertile “breadbasket” of Ukraine could provide lebensraum for German colonizers. Stalin foolishly signed a non-aggression pact with Hitler in 1939 — had he not read Mein Kampf? Less than two years later, Germany turned around and invaded Russia, using Ukraine as doormat and mud-room for a horrific struggle that left Kiev, the capital city of Ukraine, a virtual ashtray, and 28,000 villages destroyed.

Culture, as we know, is resilient. But given that history, one wonders what the current disposition of all these historical tides portends. The few thousand Americans not completely distracted by tweeting the content of their breakfasts or shooting naked selfies or texting behind the wheel — yea, even the gallant minority not mentally colonized by the slave-masters of Silicon Valley — must wonder what the heck happened in the streets of Kiev last week. Or, as Sir Mick Jagger famously said at the deadly Altamont Speedway festival, “Who’s fighting, and what for?” By the way, don’t count the editors of The New York Times among the aforementioned gallant minority of digital idiocy resisters. Today’s front page contained this rich nugget:

KIEV, Ukraine — Ukraine’s acting interior minister issued a warrant on Monday for the arrest of former President Viktor F. Yanukovych, accusing him of mass killing of civilian protesters in demonstrations last week…. Arsen Avakov, the acting official, made the announcement on his official Facebook page Monday.

Perhaps there’s a trend in this: all government information around the world will henceforth be transmitted by Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg will come to lead a New World Order of universal friendship. Remind me to send a friend request to Arsen Avakov and de-friend Victor F. Yanukovych.

I suppose the geopolitical bottom-line in all this is that the Ukrainians must feel more comfortable tilting toward a de-Nazified Germany than submitting to the attentions of a de-sovietized Russia. Both would-be patrons are dangling money before a rather cash-strapped Ukraine, which is faced by bond interest payouts that it can’t possibly come up with, not to mention some scratch to just keep the streetcars running. (Forgive me for pointing out that Ukraine at least has streetcars, unlike the USA, which just has cars on streets.)

Given the International Monetary Fund’s record as the West’s official loan shark, would a Ukraine government be wise to turn there for a handout? Meanwhile, is everybody pretending that the Ukraine is not crisscrossed by a great web of natural gas pipelines? And is it not obvious that the gas flows in one direction: from Russia to Europe. So, how exactly would it benefit western Europe if Ukraine got more cuddly with them? Russia could still shut down the gas valve at the source? If the Europeans had any common sense, you’d think they would just butt out of this struggle and quit dangling money and offers of friendship to a nation whose greatest potential is to be a perpetual battleground in yet another unnecessary dreadful conflict.

Let’s hope the American government is just grandstanding in the background because we have less business in this feud than in the doings of Middle Earth. National Security Advisor Susan Rice was flogging ultimatums around on “Meet the Press” yesterday — some blather about right of the Ukrainian people “to fulfill their aspirations and be democratic and be part of Europe, which they choose to be.”

If anything, the uprising in Kiev last week should remind us that Europe’s history is long and deep in bloodshed and that one particular Ukrainian politician who employs snipers to shoot through the hearts of his adversaries is not the only person or party across that broad region capable of reawakening the hell-bringers. There are quite a few other countries over there that could disintegrate politically in the months ahead, nations faced with insurmountable financial and economic troubles. The USA has enough problems of its own. Maybe it should tweet a message to itself.

Saturday, February 22, 2014


Dmitri Orlov's post on the Ukrainian situation. He observes that Ukraine is basically two countries: Eastern Poland (Ukrainian-speaking, Catholic) and Western Russia (Russian-speaking, Orthodox).

Friday, February 21, 2014


I've never heard of PressReader. mentioned it today.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Thursday, February 13, 2014

My Blog Is...

a sketchbook, news aggregator, jukebox, digest, and journal.

Among other things.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

P.K. Nair

One learns new things each day. Browsing on Wikipedia I found out about P.K. Nair, who has worked to preserve the film legacy of India.

More later.


A list in progress. Links added to underscore why they are listed here.

Leslie E. Gibson, candidate for the Maine House of Representatives, for insulting via Twitter a survivor of the Parkland, Florida school shooting. Though he apologized, he deactivated his personal Twitter account <@LeslieEGibson2> and made private his campaign Twitter account, Gibson 4 Maine House <@Gibson_house>. At least, unlike Morgan Roof (younger sister of murderer Dylann), he didn't actually bring weapons to school, and hope protesting students would get shot. (16 March 2018 update: Faced with challenges from a novice Democrat and a former Republican state senator, both of whom declared at the last minute, Gibson has dropped out of the race.)

Disgraced gymnastics coach John Geddert. Will he get even a bit of the scrutiny his crony Nassar has received?

Carl Higbie, former chief of external affairs of the Corporation for National and Community Service.

Brianna Rae Brochu.

Milo Yiannopoulos. For this and so much more. If Justin Bieber doesn't change his ways, he'll look like him and he doesn't want that.

Katie Quackenbush.

Greg Gianforte, his spokesman Shane Scanlon, and anyone who approves of his assault of a reporter.

Yale dean June Chu.

Talib Kweli Greene and Ben Shapiro.

Christopher Duntsch.

South Carolina state representative Chris Corley.

Dae Hae Moon.

Christian Gutierrez.

William Spingler.

Caleb Joseph Illig.

Michelle Herren.

Jennifer Boyle.

Tucker and Buckley Carlson, and Christopher Bedford.

Louisiana sheriff Louis Ackal. Is his middle initial J? It's the most fitting for him.

Brandon Phillips, former Georgia state director for the Trump campaign. Was he remorseful or tried to make amends with his victims? The article doesn't say.

Rodrigo Duterte.

Marc Wabafiyebazu.

Stanley Vernon Majors.

Dani Mathers.

Alex André Moraes Soeiro.

Steven Arnold "Steve" King, Iowa congressman, lover of guns and meat, English-only custard shops, watcher of Mexican migrants' "cantaloupe" calves, hater of Harriet Tubman on the twenty-dollar bill.

Howard Sparber, spurned loser.

Serial vandal of national parks Casey Nocket.

Tennessee candidate Rick Tyler, who wants to make America "white again." He's also against "miscegenators."

Christopher Mohrlang.

Nevada judge Conrad Hafen.

Rachel and Nyomi Fee.

John R. K. Howard and the other defendants. (9 January 2017 update: And Deputy Attorney General Casey Hemmer, for saying this assault doesn't amount to a sex crime.

Larry Thomas, barber.

Azealia Banks.

Jason M. Feldman. (His law firm page includes this: "He is active member of the National College of DUI Defense ... and has made it his personal goal to make miracles happen on daily basis." Where are the indefinite articles?)

Peter Kema, Sr. and Jaylin Kema.

Tennessee state representative Jeremy Durham, alleged sexual harasser, co-sponsor of anti-trans bathroom bill. Of course, he announced earlier this month that he'll seek re-election.

Former policeman Douglas Ioven, for assault and false imprisonment.

Fort Worth police officer W. Figueroa, for pepper-spraying motorcyclists as they were riding by.

Hawaii State Rep. Isaac W. Choy.

Michigan State Senator Virgil Smith, Jr.

Leonard Debello.

Robert Rialmo.

Former Arizona Congressman Ben Quayle.

Rep. Mitch Holmes. Not so much for his dress code but for his assertion that men don't need a dress code because they look "professional" already. Cf. Montana State Rep. David Moore (R) and his proposed ban on yoga pants.

Katr1na P1ers0n.

Ragheb Nouman.

Joshua Warren Killets.

Roselle Park, Councilwoman. At least she resigned.

Jodie Marie Burchard-Risch of Coon(!) Rapids, Minnesota.

Dr. Steven Anagn0st and Rick Perry.

Marshall W. Leonard.

Officer Bobby Harrison, HPD.

James Declan Basile, Christian Guy, Tucker Cole Steil, Austin Rice, Kyle Hughes, and whoever in the college let them off easy.

Triceten Bickford.

Chase Utley.

Jennifer Connell and William Beckert.

Dr. Geoff Marcy. (He has since resigned.)

Matt Bevin. (He has now won the governorship of Kentucky.)

The Gawkerites.

Donald Anthony Watson.

Natalie Munroe.

Poppy Harlow. I just found out about this story when I read a Mark Ames article. Sympathy for the devils, indeed!

Justin Harris.

Ikemefuna Enemkpali.

Ariana B. Kelly

Pamela Bullock

The as-yet unidentified Fox News anchor who inexplicably called Rory McIlroy a leprechaun and said she couldn't stand him.

Rachel Dolezal, impostor extraordinaire.

Sean Toon and his unnamed high school cronies.

Matt Bruenig.

Matthew Makela.

Gemma Wale.

Nevada assemblywoman Michele Fiore.

Robin Paul.

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory, for pulling an Alvin Greene*. (*This man.)

Jeff Roe.

Maria Valdes, Cypress Bay H.S.

John Hancock.

Thom Tillis, for advocating this loophole, and writer Luke Brinker, for making such a to-do about it. I wash my hands of both of them!

Kirby Delauter and Billy Shreve.

Elizabeth Lauten.

Mark Fuller.

Carlo Dellaverson. See also Scott Bentley.

Toure Neblett.

Jurger Klinsmann and his son Jonathan Klinsmann.

Shannon K. Smith.

Sharlene Simon.

"Guru" Bikram Choudhury.

These people. (names forthcoming)
One refused her cup of iced tea without a lid and a straw.

"Hashtag activists" (about as useful as "momagers").

Laura Ingraham.

Sara Netanyahu.

Bill Newcomer.

Kevin Kavanaugh and Tim Russell.

Laura Bush.

Jeff Orr.

Drew Paahao and Koa Alii Keaulana.

Faye Hanohano. She is no Helene Hale! In fact, she didn't even show up for Helene Hale's memorial service.

Michael Dunn.

Rick Perry, for his tepid "condemnation" of Ted Nugent's "subhuman mongrel" rant after earlier saying he didn't personally take offense.

Justin Bieber, of course, but also his father and partner in crime, Jeremy Jack Bieber.
"Pastor" David "Scott" Lemley, arrested on charges he raped a 20-year-old woman with the mental age of seven. Also the woman's father who urged her to have sex with the pastor. (And look at the photo. What a cretin.)

The soldiers who made funny poses around a flag-draped casket then posted the photo on Instagram.

(I mean the tag to read BAD behavior. BAD, from Paul Fussell's book of the same title. Bieber, for instance, is BAD. Not a bad singer like William Hung, who was so bad he was good, but a BAD celebrity: donning gas masks, (allegedly;P) egging a neighbor's house, drag-racing a rental car, etc.)

Thursday, February 06, 2014

More on CVS Decision to Phase Out Tobacco

Repost at Townhall of an AP article about the decision by CVS to stop selling tobacco products. The comments are mostly people gnashing their teeth about the alleged agenda behind the decision.

Longs Drugs was acquired by CVS a while ago in 2008 and today's Tribune-Herald has an article about the local impact. I think the hardcore smokers will go to 808 Tobacco and Irie Smoke Shop (Boom!) for their cigarettes. And I think smokers will likely "stock up" at Longs, causing the shelves to empty months earlier than October.

Annie Lennox: "Cold"

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

One Bu Laia

He tweets that he speaks only English then rattles off a question in Spanish.

What "Downside"?

Louis Proyect notes, a little too smugly, that Prince Charles, three years his junior "looks nearly old enough to be my father. Just look at my photo below...".

Of course Prince Charles, who has spent a lifetime outdoors (polo, yachting, etc.), will have weathered skin, compared to Proyect, who has "spent my time indoors pouring [sic] over the Grundrisse, etc."

But Prince Charles has aged into a very distinguished-looking man.



Hole had some good songs such as "Malibu" and "Doll Parts."

Courtney Love was seen as a Yoko Ono--not a serious artist in her own right but a talentless gold-digger/social climber latching onto a brillian musician. So in the popular imagination, especially when Kurt Cobain killed himself almost twenty years ago, Hole was just a footnote.
The CVS drugstore chain is phasing out tobacco products by 1 October 2014.

(Longs was acquired by CVS some time ago.)